In December last, I announced funding of approximate €540,000 by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) for 28 projects under the National Strategy for Angling Development (NSAD), which were based on applications received from Counties Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim. These projects are to be implemented over the next year.
IFI’s angling sponsorship scheme also supported seven projects in the North West for novice angler events, angling festivals, angling guides and schools' programmes during 2017. I would encourage Angling Clubs and Community Groups to continue to avail of funding supports from IFI.
In addition, Donegal Angling Tourism Alliance, enabled by a strategic alliance with IFI, has been instrumental in progressing the marketing of angling in Donegal. The many initiatives achieved by Donegal Angling Tourism Alliance with IFI support include the launch of Clodha Wheelyboat, a wheelchair accessible flat deck boat at Rooskey Lough in Donegal and the Donegal Angling Holidays project funded by the 'LEADER' programme.
The Deputy will be pleased to know that the much envied accolade of catching the first spring salmon of the year went to an angler fishing in the North West on the River Drowes, County Leitrim, in January. As is traditional, the first fish was the centre of attention at a charity tasting event which this year benefited the North West Hospice.
I propose to circulate with the Official Record the funding awards in the North West under both the Development and Sponsorship programmes.